China overreacts to U.S. Navy transit through Taiwan Strait: MAC - Focus Taiwan

China overreacts to U.S. Navy transit through Taiwan Strait: MAC

China's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Liu Jieyi (劉結一, front)

Taipei, July 8 (CNA) Taiwan's top China policy planner urged Beijing Sunday not to overreact to the recent passage of two U.S. Navy vessels through the Taiwan Strait and not to blame others for its own actions that have disturbed peace and stability in the region.

The recent spate of actions by China, including conducting military exercises targeting Taiwan, sending aircraft and warships around Taiwan, and suppressing Taiwan's international space are aimed at coercing Taiwan into accepting China's political terms, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said in a statement.

These actions have endangered the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, arousing strong concern from the international community, the MAC said.

Against the backdrop of tense cross-strait relations and U.S.-Sino relations strained by trade issues, the U.S. Navy sailed two of its Arleigh-Burke guided missile destroyers through the strait over the weekend, which it said was a routine voyage that has been carried out for many years.

Earlier Sunday, commenting on the passage, China's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Liu Jieyi (劉結一) said the U.S. has been "playing the Taiwan card" against China.

Liu said that the people of Taiwan should be able to see through the U.S. and its intentions and that its behavior has damaged the interests of the people of Taiwan and those of the entire Chinese people, as well as hurting China's interests.

Liu said that Taiwan should refrain from abetting the U.S. in playing the Taiwan card because that would not be in the interests of people on both sides of the strait.

In the MAC's statement made in response to Liu, it said that it is self-evident which the two sides of the strait is responsible for the disruptions to the status quo.

The government of Taiwan has been consistent in its commitments in maintaining the status quo and safeguarding Taiwan's security, the MAC said.

As a responsible player in the region, Taiwan will continue to deepen cooperation with the U.S. and other like-minded countries to ensure regional peace and stability, it said.

Meanwhile, Liu was asked by reporters to respond to recent remarks by MAC Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) that the MAC will continue to push for a meeting between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) without preconditions.

"Do you believe what he (Chen) said?" Liu asked.

In response, the MAC reiterated the willingness that has been expressed by Tsai and Chen on various occasions in the past and that the Tsai administration is willing to resume talks with Beijing at every level based on dignity and without preconditions.

Chinese officials involved in dealing with cross-strait issues should be able to assess the current situation properly, adopt a thoughtful and discreet approach before making comments, and handle cross-strait affairs in a pragmatic manner, the MAC said.

"Only by communicating with each other can the two sides resolve their differences and create benign interactions," the MAC said.

Beijing has cut off official contacts with Taiwan since Tsai took office because the Tsai administration rejects the "1992 consensus" that provided the foundation for cross-strait relations between China and Taiwan's previous government under the Kuomintang.

The Tsai administration objects to the consensus because it implies that Taiwan is a part of China, something a majority of Taiwanese do not accept.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Shine Chen)


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